StatChat - Nascar Cup Series @ Phoenix





It all comes down to this.  35 races have led to this final contest.  16 playoff drivers have been whittled down to the Final Four.  There can only be one champion, but who is favoured to take the W? With the final race of the year taking place at Phoenix for the first time, let’s take a closer look:

 

Phoenix Raceway is a 1-mile tri-oval, making it the first time a championship has been crowned at a short track.  This weekend’s race will fittingly be called the Season Finale 500.  Phoenix was built in 1964, but did not start hosting NASCAR events until 1988. 

 

The race will be 312 laps long (for a total of 312 miles), with stage breaks occurring at 75 – 190 – 312.  The fuel window is approximately 90-95 laps, though tire wear may result in drivers pitting sooner than that.

 

This year, the Cup Series has now raced a total of 13,201.83 miles.

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Phoenix:

Kevin Harvick

8.97 over 35 races

Jimmie Johnson

9.38 over 34 races

Kyle Busch

10.50 over 30 races

Denny Hamlin

11.27 over 30 races

Chase Elliott

13.00 over 9 races

 

Bottom 5 Career Average Finishers at Phoenix:

Joey Gase

34.00 over 6 races

Corey LaJoie

32.33 over 6 races

Michael McDowell

32.21 over 19 races

Quin Houff

32.21 over 2 races

Ryan Preece

28.75 over 4 races

 

Phoenix is classified as a short track.  A short track is seen as anything under 1 mile in length. 

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Short Tracks

Kyle Busch

11.61 over 151 races

Denny Hamlin

11.89 over 145 races

Brad Keselowski

12.64 over 108 races

Jimmie Johnson

13.10 over 187 races

Chase Elliott

13.16 over 47 races

 

Kevin Harvick is far and away the winningest driver at Phoenix, having won 9 times.  Jimmie Johnson is a distant 2nd, with 4 wins, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch who each have 3.

 

Notable drivers who have not won at Phoenix:

Brad Keselowski

(has won at 17 other tracks)

Martin Truex Jr.

(has won at 14 other tracks)

 

Aric Almirola lists Phoenix as his BEST track, with an average finish of 14.89.  Tyler Reddick lists Phoenix as his WORST track, though it should be noted that this is only based on the spring race, where he finished P33. 

 

Based on their point pace, let’s have a look at who’s having a better year than last year.

 

Drivers Faring Better than in 2019

Matt DiBenedetto

+212 pts

Chase Elliott

+188 pts

Austin Dillon

+127 pts

Bubba Wallace

+115 pts

Brad Keselowski

+111 pts

 

Drivers Faring Worse than in 2019

Daniel Suarez

-476 pts

Kyle Busch

-247 pts

William Byron

-89 pts

Joey Logano

-88 pts

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

-73 pts

 

While some drivers may be doing better this year than they did in 2019, how does this year stack up against their entire career?  This statistic does not include rookies, as this is their first full year in the Cup Series.

 

Drivers Having their BEST Career Year

Kevin Harvick

7.34

Denny Hamlin

9.46

Matt DiBenedetto

14.94

Michael McDowell

20.86

Bubba Wallace

21.26

Corey LaJoie

25.23

 

Drivers Having their WORST Career Year

Daniel Suarez

26.44

Ryan Preece

24.06

Matt Kenseth

21.26

 

For those that aren’t aware, the Manufacturer Standings are calculated by awarding points to the highest finisher for each manufacturer according to their finishing position.  (40 for 1st, 35 for 2nd, 34 for 3rd, etc.)  No stage points or playoff points count.

 

Manufacturer Standings

Ford

1293

Toyota

1225

Chevrolet

1192

 

Here is the same formula, but used on a team-vs-team basis:

 

Chartered Team Standings

Joe Gibbs

1226

Penske

1165

Stewart-Haas

1140

Hendrick

1121

Chip Ganassi

926

Richard Childress

885

Wood Brothers

772

Roush-Fenway

752

Front Row

693

JTG-Daugherty

655

Leavine Family

591

Richard Petty

559

Germain

527

Go Fas

416

Rick Ware

309

Spire

234

StarCom

213

 

 

 

The race begins Sunday, November 8th at 3:00pm EST (12:00pm PST) – Enjoy the race everyone, thanks for a great season!

 

 

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